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IBM "fab club" synchronises 28nm process

Posted: 28 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IBM fab club  foundry  28nm process  IC manufacturing 

The members of the Common Platform alliance and ST will optimise the processes and tooling at all the respective manufacturing lines, or fabs, to ensure the chip designs can be produced with the same functional and electrical results at each of the companies.

"ST's work with the Common Platform alliance continues our longstanding tradition of partnering with leaders for the benefit of our customers and the development of the 28nm low-power technology is yet another success," said Joel Hartmann, technology R&D group VP and general manager advanced CMOS, derivatives and eNVM technology, ST. "We are working to make this technology available to our customers for portable, consumer, computer-peripheral and other applications as soon as possible and will extend its capabilities through the use of application-specific CMOS-derivative technologies."

The companies have released common 28nm circuits in their respective facilities to enable the synchronisation. Details such as transistor performance are being measured, benchmarked and optimised across the fabs. The first fab to complete synchronisation of the 28nm low-power technology process is targeted for late 2010, with product introduction to follow soon after.

The Common Platform alliance has been collaborating with ARM and Synopsys on the development of a comprehensive 32/28nm SoCs design platform based on HKMG technology. ARM has developed an intellectual property (IP) portfolio integrating leading edge HKMG process technology with ARM advanced microprocessor cores and physical IP including logic, memory and interface products for distribution to their customers. Synopsys has developed a 32/28nm optimised design enablement solution, IP, design tools and methodology optimised for the alliance's HKMG technology.

"The early parallel 32nm development work between ARM and the Common Platform alliance leverages our respective industry-leading expertise in processor IP, physical IP and technology development," said Simon Segars, executive VP and general manager, ARM, physical IP division. "This collaboration coupled with the fab synch announced today will facilitate design scaling and accelerate the market availability of next generation mobile devices with unmatched performance, outstanding battery life and reduced cost."

"Synopsys has worked closely with IBM and its technology alliance on common IP ports, design tools and flow enablement, including silicon validation at 90nm, 65nm and 45nm at IBM, Samsung, GloblalFoundries fabs and continues at 32/28nm," said John Chilton, senior VP and strategic development at Synopsys. "The Galaxy-enabled production flow in Lynx and supporting DesignWare Interface IP for Common Platform's 28nm HKMG process combined with this new four-way 28nm fab manufacturing synchronisation offering, will provide our customers with the ultimate design choice, coupled with multi-source chip production flexibility for their next-generation consumer devices."

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